Lansing, the capital of Michigan, is also the fifth largest city with a population of 114 thousand people and a metropolitan population of 464 thousand. It has 36.68 square miles of area of which only 0.63 square miles are water making it just slightly over 1 percent water.
As the capital, one area where the city works to make sure they are constantly improving is in the area of culture. Lansing has several cultural attractions that bring people to the city from all over.
- Parades: The city hosts an African American Parade and Heritage Festival every year now for over a decade. The Friday before Thanksgiving they hold the annual Silver Bells in the City Electric Light Parade that goes through the streets of downtown. This event is followed by the official lighting of Michigan's Christmas tree.
- Theatre: There are several well-known theaters in Lansing including The Riverwalk Theatre, Peppermint Creek Theatre Company, Happendance, The Greater Lansing Ballet Company and The Creole Gallery.
- Museums: Lansing has five different specialized museums. The Impression 5 Science Center is a children's science center. The Michigan Library and Historic Center houses of the the 10 largest genealogy collections in the US. The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame shows the accomplishments and achievements of Michigan women. The R.W. Olds Transportation Museum educates people on Lansing's role in the automobile development. The Turner Dodge House is dedicated to the early Lansing pioneers.
Heroin Abuse, the New Russian Roulette:
Heroin is a highly addictive illegal drug that is made from the resin of poppy plants. A milky, sap-like opium is removed from the pod of the poppy flower then refined to make morphine, this is then further refined to make heroin. Heroin is most commonly injected, which creates the additional risk of AIDS or other infection through the sharing of needles.
Heroin has been around since 1898 and was originally used as a pharmaceutical medication until its highly damaging and addictive nature was discovered. Since then it has been manufactured in illegal drug labs and sold on the street or at parties to addicts and drug seekers.
It is one of the most dangerous drugs available with withdrawal symptoms so intense it can result in death.
Two Lansing residents are working together to show others that addictions can be overcome. This mother and son team got started in this line after the son himself spent years on a destructive path in life addicted to heroin, leading him to jail where he decided to change his life.
They gave a "Straight Talk" presentation at a benefit for a recently deceased heroin addict which brought together public officials and business owners. The event raid $15 - $20 thousand dollars which will be used to help save addicts from also succumbing to overdose.
Michigan's Opiate Problems Rising, Solutions Not Adequate:
As Michigan struggles to keep up with the ever growing heroin and prescription opiate/opioid problem, new solutions are being looked after. There are several programs already in place, but they are usually not widespread enough or funded enough to make a serious impact.
As new, more potent, forms and combinations of these drugs hit the streets, solutions are even more needed. One such new combination is Super Heroin. Super Heroin, as it's being called on the street, is made by lacing or mixing heroin with fentanyl. The resulting high is similar to a heroin high but much stronger. The danger in this is far greater than that of regular heroin, which already had the reputation of being one of the most dangerous drugs. This new concoction can quickly put someone into an overdose.
Even heroin seekers who want to avoid further dangers by avoiding such drugs as this can be at risk. This is due to a common "tactic" used by drug dealers. They will sell some new or more powerful drug, like super heroin, to people seeking heroin, in order to get new and old customers hooked on this new, pricier, drug.
Two of the programs that are not along the traditional line, but are showing some promise, are needle exchanges and prescription drug drop off boxes.
The topic of needle exchanges for heroin users is a rather controversial one. The programs allow drug users to turn in their dirty needles and get clean ones back. Supporters of these programs say that they help stop the spread of diseases such as HIV, while also giving the exchange centers the opportunity to get drug users tested for diseases and maybe even get them into treatment for their addictions. Opponents to the program say that despite the intentions of the program, the reality is that they are just enabling drug users to continue using.
Prescription drug drop off boxes have virtually no controversy around them. They are simply secure locations for people to drop off any unwanted prescription drugs. As the most common source for new addicts to start on prescription drugs is the medicine cabinet of a parent or family member, this is beginning to show a lot of promise. What is needed now is more drop off locations and new means of reaching even more people so that they know the service is available.
Treatment Options in Lansing:
There are 15 drug rehab center listed in Lansing, many of which have special treatment programs for people in different circumstances. Examples of such special programs are:
- DUI/DWI Programs: People who got a DUI or DWI may be required to fulfill certain requirements, these programs help you not only get through your addiction, but make sure that you meet those requirements as well.
- Pregnant Women, Postpartum Women: Treatment programs are available for women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth. Very special care is needed during these times and some centers also provide residential stay for the women during this time as well as for children who need to stay with them.
- Adolescent/Teen Programs: These programs offer additional support for younger people as well as a safe place for them to be. Centers that don't offer these programs will also sometimes not accept minors.